By | February 10, 2012 620 Comments

The Gray Rock method of dealing with psychopaths

Editor’s note: At the request of readers, the Lovefraud member “Skylar” has contributed the following article.

When dealing with malignant narcissists, psychopaths, sociopaths, borderlines, drama queens, stalkers and other emotional vampires, it’s commonly advised that no response is the best response to unwanted attention. This is often true and No Contact (the avoidance of all communication) should be used whenever possible.

There are some situations however, when No Contact is not feasible, as in when you share child custody with a psychopath. As another example, if you are being stalked by an ex, a restraining order can infuriate the unwanted suitor, and refusing to respond to him or her is seen as an insult. They might become convinced that they can MAKE you respond and in that way satiate their need for power over you.

Furthermore, many of us have tried to end a relationship with a psychopath several times, only to take them back, each time. They turned on the pity ploy and the charm, and because we didn’t understand that this is what a psychopath does, we fell for their promises to change. They know all of our emotional hooks. For them, it’s easy and fun to lure us back by appealing to our emotions. But a psychopath can’t change. In fact, when you leave a psychopath, he becomes determined to punish you even more severely for thinking you could be autonomous.

Even if we don’t take them back, the most dangerous time for a person is when they first break up with a psychopath. The psychopath feels rage at being discarded. Losing control or power over a person is not just a narcissistic injury for them; they feel profoundly empty when their partner leaves them even if they had intended to kill their partner. The reason is because they have lost control. Psychopaths need to feel in control at all times.

For all these situations, we have Gray Rock.

What it is:Ӭ

So, how do we escape this parasitical leech without triggering his vindictive rage? Gray Rock is primarily a way of encouraging a psychopath, a stalker or other emotionally unbalanced person, to lose interest in you. It differs from No Contact in that you don’t overtly try to avoid contact with these emotional vampires. Instead, you allow contact but only give boring, monotonous responses so that the parasite must go elsewhere for his supply of drama. When contact with you is consistently unsatisfying for the psychopath, his mind is re-trained to expect boredom rather than drama. Psychopaths are addicted to drama and they can’t stand to be bored. With time, he will find a new person to provide drama and he will find himself drawn to you less and less often. Eventually, they just slither away to greener pastures. Gray Rock is a way of training the psychopath to view you as an unsatisfying pursuit you bore him and he can’t stand boredom.

What it’s for:

Making a psychopath go away of his own volition is one application of Gray Rock. One might say that Gray Rock is a way of breaking up with a psychopath by using the old, “It’s not you, it’s me.” excuse, except that you act it out instead of saying it and the psychopath comes to that conclusion on his own.

Another reason to use Gray Rock is to avoid becoming a target in the first place. If you find yourself in the company of one or more narcissistic personalities perhaps you work with them or they are members of your family it’s important to avoid triggering their ENVY. By using Gray Rock, you fade into the background. It’s possible they won’t even remember having met you. If you have already inadvertently attracted their attention and they have already begun to focus in on you, you can still use Gray Rock. Tell them you are boring. Describe a boring life. Talk about the most mundane household chores you accomplished that day in detail. Some people are naturally lacking in dramatic flair. Find those people and try to hang around them when the psychopath is nearby.

If you must continue a relationship with a psychopath, Gray Rock can serve you as well. Parents sharing joint custody with a psychopathic ex-spouse can use Gray Rock when the ex-spouse tries to trigger their emotions. I acknowledge that any threat to the well-being of our children is overwhelmingly anxiety provoking. Here is where Gray Rock can be applied selectively to draw attention away from what really matters to you. In general, show no emotion to the offending behaviors or words. The psychopath will try different tactics to see which ones get a reaction. With Selective Gray Rock, you choose to respond to the tactic which matters least to you. This will focus the psychopath’s attention on that issue. Remember, the psychopath has no values, so he doesn’t understand what is valuable to us unless we show him. Selective Gray Rock shows him a decoy. When protecting our children, we can take a lesson from nature: Bird parents who have fledglings are known to feign a broken wing when a predator is in the vicinity. They fake a vulnerability to detract the cat’s attention from their real vulnerability, their babies. In this example, Selective Gray Rock fades all emotions into the background except the ones you want the predator to see.

Why it works:Ӭ

A psychopath is easily bored. He or she needs constant stimulation to ward off boredom. It isn’t the type of boredom that normal people experience; it’s more like the French word, ennui, which refers to an oppressive boredom or listlessness. Drama is a psychopath’s remedy for boredom. For drama, they need an audience and some players. Once the drama begins, they feel complete and alive again. They are empowered when pulling the strings that elicit our emotions. Any kind of emotions will do, as long as it is a response to their actions.

A psychopath is an addict. He is addicted to power. His power is acquired by gaining access to our emotions. He is keenly aware of this and needs to constantly test to make sure we are still under his control. He needs to know that we are still eager to do his bidding, make him happy and avoid his wrath. He needs to create drama so he can experience the power of manipulating our emotions. As with any addiction, it is exhilarating to the psychopath when he gets his supply of emotional responses. The more times he experiences a reward for his dramatic behavior, the more addicted he becomes. Conversely, when the reward stops coming, he becomes agitated. He experiences oppressive boredom and he will counter it by creating more drama. If we stay the course and show no emotions, the psychopath will eventually decide that his toy is broken. It doesn’t squirt emotions when he squeezes it anymore! Most likely, he will slither away to find a new toy.

The Gray Rock technique does come with a caveat: psychopaths are dangerous people, if you are in a relationship with one that has already decided to kill you, it will be difficult to change his mind. He may already be poisoning you or sabotaging your vehicle. Take all necessary precautions. In this case, Gray Rock can only hope to buy time until you can make your escape.

How it works:Ӭ

Psychopaths are attracted to shiny, pretty things that move fast and to bright lights. These things, signal excitement and relieve the psychopath’s ever-present ennui. Your emotional responses are his food of choice, but they aren’t the only things he wants.

He envies everything pretty, shiny and sparkly that you have and he wants whatever you value. You must hide anything that he will notice and envy. If you happen to be very good looking, you need to change that during this time. Use makeup to add bags under your eyes. If you aren’t married to the psychopath, any money or assets he covets should disappear “in a bad investment decision” (consult with your attorney on this). Your shiny sports car has to go, get a beater. If you have a sparkling reputation, anticipate that he will or has already begun to slander you; therefore, don’t allow yourself to be put into any compromising position or pushed into erratic behavior. The reason he wants to take these things from you, is not necessarily because he wants them for himself, it’s because he wants to see the emotions on your face when you lose them. He wants the power trip associated with being the one who took them from you. By preemptively removing these things from his vision and not reacting with emotion at the losses, you continue to train him with the idea that you are the most boring person on earth, someone he would never want to be.

Origin of Gray Rock:Ӭ

In 2009, I left my psychopathic partner after 25 years, but I didn’t understand what was wrong with him. I sat in a sushi bar, lost in confusion, when a tall, athletic man introduced himself. To my own surprise, I instinctively poured out my story to him. This complete stranger listened to my story and then he explained to me that I was dealing with a malignant narcissist. He advised me, “Be boring.” He told me that his girlfriend would come home each night, begin drinking and become abusive. They were both professionals who traveled in the same professional circles. He knew that she would stalk him if he broke up with her and he didn’t want to risk the slander and drama which could leak out and damage his professional reputation.

His solution was to be so boring that she would simply leave him. He declined to go out on evenings and weekends. He showed no emotional reaction about anything, no interest in anything and responded with no drama. When she asked if he wanted to go out for dinner, his reply was, “I don’t know.” After a few months of no drama, she simply moved out.

Why is it called Gray Rock?

I chose the words Gray Rock because I needed an object for us to channel when we are in an emotionally charged situation. You don’t just practice Gray Rock, you BECOME a Gray Rock. There are gray rocks and pebbles everywhere you go, but you never notice them. None of them attract your attention. You don’t remember any specific rock you saw today because they blend with the scenery. That is the type of boring that you want to channel when you are dealing with a psychopath. Your boring persona will camouflage you and the psychopath won’t even notice you were there. The stranger in the sushi bar showed great insight when he advised me to “be boring.” He struck at the heart of the psychopath’s motivation: to avoid boredom.

In nature, there are many plants and creatures that show us how to survive in a world of predators. Among others, birds feign injury to protect their babies and mice play dead until the cat loses interest. Both of these tactics can be useful and they can be channeled when applicable. Yet, it’s difficult to calculate each and every move that a psychopath will make and to determine the best course of action each time. Instead of trying to out-think him, channel the gray rock. This simple, humble object in nature has all the wisdom it needs to avoid being noticed, it’s boring.

Copyright © 2012 Skylar

Comment on this article

Please Login to comment
Notify of

Grey Rock. This is brilliant. I love it and I can great wisdom in this. Thanks for sharing.

Rock on!





alohatraveler again i agree.


Thank you for the validation.

I have thought of grey rock and you, so many times when dealing with my ‘pet monster’ and it absolutely works. NO reaction works best. Completely. Become so boring that they think THEY are the one’s choosing to go away when in actuality, they are giving YOU what you wish. And, it’s a final kind of thing too. That is what is so amazing about it.

Thanks skylar, with love and hugs for giving me this tool.
It has helped me to find indifference.

I can soooo relate to you.

Love ~ Dupey


yes, brilliant piece.



This is one of those PRINT IT OUT, TAPE IT UP, AND READ IT EVERY DAY until the SPATH GOES AWAY articles.




Really, really good article and very well-written, Sky.

I know for my ex-spath, talking about my problems seemed to be a deterrent, even though a normal person would consider that drama. It seems to be a type of drama they don’t like. I myself have a low tolerance for people who have a lot of ongoing problems and issues, too. I would think that with a spath, the drama they want would be the drama that was provoked by THEM. They want to see you get upset by some game they played or have some reaction to something they did. They don’t care if you are upset about something that happened at work or in the news. Therefore, it would seem that if you just start telling them about all your problems not related to them, they’d get bored. I remember my ex-spath didn’t want to hear about my problems. He would just change the subject.

But that is also a catch 22 because they can use any of that information against you as part of their game if they wanted to. So maybe gray rock is making up trite and meaningless problems, such as, “I had such a hard time getting nail polish to stick to my nails today. I tried a new nail polish but the color and consistency just was not right…..” etc. You can go on an on about nail polish for an hour and still not capture all the fine subtelties of it. lol


Stargazer: absolutely talking about our own personal problems is a HUGE turn off for them because THEY want to be the center of that attention, NOT YOU.

I absolutely have an IMMENSE low tolerance for people who have drama and chaos in their lives. ANOTHER inspiration for them to multiply the drama and chaos. Hm?

For me, skylar absolutely hit the nail on the head.
It works! I am here to testify to that.

Perhaps her and I had a ‘different type and model’ of ppath…
I know mine was very violent/is still very violent/and very threatening and ugly. He has learned over the last year how to ‘tame’ that down, though, and has suddenly become quite charming…imagine that. They are masters at mirroring back to you all those things you want to hear and feel.

Thanks Star – you have been a huge support and I appreciate you. ~ Dupey xxoo


Skylar, thank you so much for this article and thanks to the tall, athletic man for inspiring you to come up with it!

This really does work.

Now that I’ve practiced it awhile (and am pretty good at it 😉 ) it occurs to me that it is something like some therapists have told me, to be less “emotionally reactive.” But try as I could, I just couldn’t stop reacting.

When you explained it, I got it INSTANTLY. So, you made more sense than those therapists.

It helped me that I could view it as “just pretending” rather than as actually toning down my emotions. That meant I could still feel my emotions but just shield them from him (like not throwing your pearls before swine — he didn’t DESERVE to see my naked emotions!!!)

So now I am better at not wearing my heart on my sleeve, and you helped a lot with that, Skylar, with this great idea.

I still have all of my emotions intact — but I reserve them for people who don’t abuse me. I reserve them for people who share their genuine emotions with me.

And so, like we don’t run around naked in front of the entire world (at least I don’t), I view this gray rock a bit like putting on a kind of rumpled, boring tan trench coat that hides my lovely figure.

With a bland expression on my face and vague look in my eyes, the spath does not get a window into my soul, or the gift of my smile, any flash of anger or desire. Nothing. He does not deserve any of it.

sharing the journey


Very well written. Concise and insightful. It is good to see your grey rock method written out so clearly.

New people to LF will get a very good handle on what to do on top of NC to help themselves.

many thanks


20years: they absolutely do NOT deserve anything about us.
Absolutely nothing. To them, we should just dissipate.

Oh yes, grey rock works…it does.
It works even better, 20years, once you find that ‘indifference’…

Best wishes to you ~ Dupey


Aloha, Rock on! I hope you can use it in your future practice.
Dupey, if nothing else it does help to know why spaths need drama.
Athena, Yep. Encourage your spath to go away! His roller coaster is not needed in your life.
Star, LOL! ummm try gray nail polish. Spaths envy shiny things. My spath actually envied my fingers! because I could type so fast. And later, I found that he kept a box of chopped off fingers in the shed. They were fake but they looked sooo real!
20years, I’ll be forever grateful to that man in the sushi bar. He did save my life. Your perspective on Gray Rock is true. It is about protecting our emotions. In fact, it is about boundaries. We don’t have to share our emotions with anyone unless we want to.
STJ, I tried to be concise, but it is long. I wanted to convey everything about Gray Rock once and for all.

Thanks everyone, for reading it.


Sky, your comment about not having to share our emotions is such an important one. This goes for anyone and not just spaths. Some people do not deserve or have not earned the right to know how we feel.

I love your sense of humor too, comparing spaths to birds who love shiny things…… I remember when I had the first phone conversation with my ex-spath (obviously I did not know he was a spath), he told me how bored he was. It’s one of the first things he told me. I remember being perplexed by this. I was thinking of all the things he could do to fill his time – even going for a walk. He also told me he doesn’t sleep at night very well. Well, no wonder. If you were lying and scamming a bunch of people including the US army, would you be able to sleep at night? In retrospect, red flags.

Strangely, I’m craving sushi now….


Thanks so much for writing this. What a great contribution you’ve made to everyone who reads here.

I agree with previous posters – what you’ve said is so much more understandable and *useful* than the advice you get from people who’ve never been there.

Let’s all raise our glasses in thanks to the helpful stranger Sky met in that sushi bar, and to Skylar for developing her gray rock theory and sharing it with us here!

Edit: Wanted to add that I particularly appreciated the section about envy. Really eye-opening and very helpful.


I don’t have to know why they do anything they do because it is an enigma, even unto them, I think. Truly.

But I do have to know when not to keep hurting myself.
It has reached OVER it’s limitation with me now.

It’s a horrid realization that someone you thought was your best friend was actually loving you, smiling at you, while secretly wanting to murder you in cold blood. How chilling is that?

THEN, on top of that shocking reality, I had a massive heart attack that almost took my life. So I have been dealing with two demons at once. One had to go and it isn’t going to be my heart. MY ACTUAL HEART lives inside my chest and keeps me alive. I am not sacrificing that for this or anything else anymore.

As Annie said: “Let’s all raise our glasses in thanks to the helpful stranger sky met in that sushi bar, and to skylar for developing her gray rock theory and sharing it with us here!”

I’ll drink to that. From the first instance I heard you talk about it sky, I knew exactly what you were meaning and it helped me more than A LOT. I shall forever be grateful to you for your sharing and insight.

I am safe now. There will be no more threats and no more attempts. Not ever. Simply because he isn’t allowed anywhere near me anymore or he will be arrested. THAT is a fact now. If he would like to ‘try it out’, like he has in the past, and been met with great dismay at his failed attempts, he can be my guest to try. I am not afraid of him anymore. He has been neutralized.

skylar: thank you, with love.


Ox Drover

Wow, Sky, was doing chores and came back to the computer to find this article! Glad you posted it. Gray rock does work in some situations….in others ANY contact, even boring contact will “lead them on”—-so I would ONLY use it if NO CONTACT is not a legal option…or in the early stages of planning to get away from one…so you don’t rouse their suspicions.

They DO LOVE THE DRAMA and if we do not do drama with them, if we do not let the PLOT THICKEN by adding our own emotions to the plot, it helps to calm them down many times. Some are worse than others though….and it is difficult to hold on to the POKER FACE when they are using your kid for chips!

Glad you finally got around to posting this in an article form! Good JOB!!!! TOWANDA!!!!!

donna dixon

Skylar~ This post is FANTASTIC!!! Although I have heard the term “grey rock” used on LF many times I never knew it originated from you. It’s absolutely brilliant and I do know it WORKS!!!

Initially after leaving my spath I was in so much emotional pain that I would call him up and scream obscenities to him over and over again. I would pour out my soul over and over trying to make him see how much he had hurt me….always so confused as to why he could not FEEL my pain.

A couple months after I joined LF; Ox Drover made me see that NC was really the best way ~ and it worked!! But on those occasions that I did have to have some sort of contact with him I would only give him one word (or very vague) answers. I noticed he would either try kindess or meaness to get to me at various times….and even though I wanted to “strike back” I would remember the wise words “grey rock”.

Sometimes my children will tell me how absolutely frustrated they are with the exs drama. I am printing out this article and giving each of them a copy. There is no better way to explain it than in plain old black and white with their own two (four) eyes!!






Thinking about how I was able to make use of “gray rock” about halfway through that danged CPS-mandated therapy with my ex-husband, his wife and the three children… seriously, it was like a switch flipped in my brain, and I am forever grateful to you for introducing me to this concept.

Actually, what was so excellent, now that I can think back on the experience of suddenly getting it, was that I did literally spend the first 2 months of the therapy trying to do what I thought I was supposed to do: “express feelings” (sometimes “with feeling” and sometimes just saying, “I feel…..”) but what ended up happening was that whenever I would express a feeling, the spath and spathwife would get a visible GLEAM in their eyes, and then they would zero in on it, somehow, having discovered something I desired that they could thwart, or something I dreaded, that they could provide. But I couldn’t figure out how to “do” therapy without expressing feelings!

(I am now flashing back to the awful memories of the failed marriage therapy with my ex-husband… and the instructions from the therapists (seven of them!) for us to use “I-messages” you know, where you say something like “when you smashed your fist through the wall, I felt scared…” or “when you said ‘that was a terrible dinner’ I felt sad, because I had wanted you to like it and I tried hard to make something good…” and those I-messages are supposed to help improve your communication and your relationship, because they can see it from your perspective. I tried SO HARD and I can still see his face when I tried to do one of those I-messages” and he rolled his eyes with derision and his lip curled in contempt at my sincere desire and attempt to work things out with him…oh, ick! I’m so glad that is over)

Anyway, this is a long-winded way of saying, I think there are a lot of therapists who do not get this. And so, halfway through the recent forced therapy, I “got” GRAY ROCK and started being very bland, boring and somewhat absent minded… I might start to say something (exciting) then I’d suddenly remember (GRAY ROCK!) and I’d get a faraway look and sort of trail off and then kind of say…. “oh, I can’t remember (sigh)…”

and it is very interesting to me now, to reflect back how disconcerted spath and spathwife suddenly got, in the therapy. I certainly no longer provided any supply to them. I just really didn’t have a whole lot to say about much of anything.

They tried to bait me a few times, and I turned it back on them. The bait was that they were “disappointed” in me or “concerned about the safety of the children in my house” and so I’d just listen and sympathize along with them, how disappointed or concerned they must be, and how understandable it all was, from their perspective…

THANKS, SKYLAR. You really helped our family! Gray Rock is like an invisible, protective cloak. It works best because it is invisible. (I think it changes our energy but they can’t quite put their finger on what’s different). The way I see the energy change is that before they could plug into us, like into an outlet, and either send bad stuff into us, or suck lifeforce out of us (that depleted feeling). But Gray Rock gets in the way — barrier protection! 🙂 It just diminishes their pleasure, doesn’t it. They can’t get through, and they don’t know why.

Dupey, I think the indifference is on its way! There is just some residual pain that is still working its way out (and tough because I see the pain the kids are being put through). But I think it is almost done. 🙂


Totally love it, Sky!!!

donna dixon

20 years ~ I know that gleam you were talking about. I saw it several times along with the “smirk” on the face as I am sobbing my eyes out. Hard to believe I could have loved someone so sick.


Thanks again for sharing your wisdom and insight.

Gray rock just didn’t work that well for me. I had to go NC. Spath saw even gray rock as an opening… and truthfully I hated what gray rock did to ME. Gray rock made ME feel like I was game playing, not being honest – probably also why it didn’t work. I’m not so good with a mask. That sucker always slips!!

what did I learn on here today? Well, for as long as I can remember my MIL has complained of insomnia. My ex spath did for awhile too but I guess he finally got that mostly corrected. (One of his improvements)

The jealousy and envy, yep, I sure did notice that with spath and MIL. They hate for something good to happen to you. They’re jealous of attention.

20 years Be glad you only spent the first 2 months of the therapy trying to do what I thought I was supposed to do: (I spent almost the entire marriage. Went at 2 years, 13, 15,18, and 20 years before I threw in the towel )

“express feelings” (sometimes “with feeling” and sometimes just saying, “I feel”..”) he would zero in on it, somehow, having discovered something I desired that he could thwart, or something I dreaded, that he could provide. But I couldn’t figure out how to “do” therapy without expressing feelings!

No wonder 5 counselors over the course of my marriage made so little difference. I became more tolerant and understanding, kept thinking if I just try harder… and the counselors I believe had NO IDEA what they were dealing with.



I messages are great way of communication with NORMAL people who are empathic. It does NOT WORK at all with spaths, but indeed points them the way on how to hurt you even more.

Relationship therapy is for NORMAL people who have issues about communication. But between an abuser and his or her victim it just gives the abuser more amunition.

The problem is that especially relationship therapists are not aware enough about trauma-bonding and what a spath actually craves from people and is out to get. It’s even understandable: relationship therapists start out therapy from the premisse that there are two normal healthy non-pathological persons sitting in front of them who need help communicating and sharing their feelings. They are trained in helping a relationship, not treating abuse victims, not treating abusers. However, since a lot of the abuse, especially emotional and mental, is not something easily evidenced for the law between adults, chances are VERY high that they end up counseling in an abusive relationship. So they ought to get training in spotting it.

Another problem imo is that for example my ex-spath was superb in delivering a perfect I-message. So, for a relationship therapist it would sound like that one party can express their issues exactly as it should be and thus must be healthy, and the victim is the one with the communication issues and therefore the problem in their eyes.


Sky ~ You already know how I feel about the “gray rock”. It is THE most significant, helpful piece of advice I have ever been given. “Advice” is defined as an opinion, given as to what to do or how to handle a situation, counsel.

This article was so well written and makes it so easy to “connect the dots”. I think the “selective gray rock” is brilliant, a decoy, yes, perfect. I will be printing it out.

I have spoken before about how well it has worked with the contact I MUST have with my spath daughter. It has so confused her that she is now “changing up” her approach with me. She so wants me to engage, so she can feed her need for drama, that she has asked me how I feel she is doing with her visitation, what can she improve on. Talk about a trap, her nightly calls are about once every two weeks, her weekly visits are about once every three months, her promises to attend band concerts, basketball games, etc. have all been broken with a no show on her part. My “gray rock” responce to her is “I think you are doing just fine, dear. Keep up the good work” End of conversation. If the spath is going to get fed, she is going to have to look elsewhere.



Fantastic and thorough article, Skylar. One of the things I am most proud of in my life is rockin’ the “grey rock.” It’s the only thing and it works. Having done it, I feel as proud as if I won an Olympic gold medal. I am at the point where I can even read your explanation as to WHY they behave the way they do, without my stomach turning in disbelief and mild shock. It is what it is. Do this to get rid of it, the end.

How wonderful that that man came into the coffee shop to help you in your time of need.

“Conversely, when the reward stops coming, he becomes agitated.” I remember this! Everyone doing the “grey rock” -if your spath starts becoming agitated in reaction to your implementing certain “grey rock” aspects, you are “this” close to the Finish Line – keep going. It is beautiful there. Painful first (for quite some time, actually) then, utterly beautiful.

I once heard someone suggest that if you are being hassled by a guy or guys, if they are hitting on you in ways that make you uncomfortable, there is one surefire way of making them lose interest: start picking your nose. Like “grey rock” it’s hard to do but man does it ever work, does it ever SHUT IT DOWN.

Ah yes, using the words “disappointed” and “concerned” as bait. I can’t say I miss hearing that particular form of BS all the time.


Quick note to Ox Dover. I started reading “Man’s Search For Meaning” this morning and I won’t be able to close my eyes until I’m done. I am deeply moved and encouraged and emboldened. Thx for mentioning it in some of your posts.


I posted on a thread and I can’t find it. Just curious if anyone responded. How can I find it?


If you can remember any words in the title, you can do a search with those words. The title should pop up. One of the threads you were posting on had the word “happiness” in it. If you search for that word, the thread will pop up.


Sky-Nice article. Yep, I can do grey rock because of your posts. As you said, sometimes we can’t go no contact, then we have grey rock. I also will be trying to use your suggestion of reacting to what matters least, hehe.

The comments everyone was making about counselors and showing emotions, the one thing I think I learned from counselors in 20 years is not show them real emotions, they think you’re nuts and he P is a saint.


SKYLAR – a great big THANK YOU – I just read your article (changing some of the language / terminology) to my 12 year old daughter. She is being unmercifully bullied by some really rotten girls. I tried to get the school administration to deal with it but the girls only got a talking to and it has continued.

I did tell her to think of a gray rock as powerful – it is not out of weakness that you use this tool – it can be used to hide in plain sight and also in a pinch picked up and used to smash someone upside the head…

I wish I myself had better grasp – when tired is the time I am weakest and the ex can “get my goat”… I am working on a new mantra “be the rock” “be the rock” “be the rock”

<3 Breck


Thannk you Sky for this theroy..

I really have to figure out a way to do this, but I think NC is the best way to go for me.

I am figuring out ways to not even see her at the visitation exchanges.. I don’t say anything and it seems, she will try her damnest to react to the bs. I hope to use this in the near future.

Thank you!


Thank you for suggesting that I write the article. I’m not so good at self-motivating, you have been very inspirational! ((hugs))

If you want to understand spaths and envy better, I suggest, “Why is it always about you, The seven deadly sins of narcissism” by Sandy Hotchkiss. Great book.

Oxy and honestkindgiver,
NC is always the preferred choice. There is no way that we should ever choose to submit ourselves to the spaths if we can find a way out of it. They KILL. YES they do. If they don’t kill you with bullets, accidents or poison, then it is cancer or autoimmune disease. Choose NC when you can. Gray Rock is only for those times when you need to stay in contact.

Donna Dixon,
Your children are young enough that they will be able to apply Gray Rock several times in their lives. It’s about establishing boundaries to our emotions. Boundaries are the key to a good life, IMO.

20 years, I LOVE reading how you gray rocked your ex. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. ROTFLMAO. Seriously, thanks for sharing.

sharing emotions with a normal person is so comforting. Sharing with a spath is a primer for betrayal. When you Gray Rock, a normal person won’t desert you. Only a spath will.

Glad to be of service but, you know you’re the black belt. Your daughter will NEVER figure it out, you are so much better at Gray Rock than I will ever be!

OMG you cracked me up. rockin’ the gray rock. LOL! I had NO idea you were a gray rocker! Yeah, I’ve done the nose pickin’… hahahahahahha! whatever works!

do tell us more about your experience with Gray Rock. I love hearing the stories about spath being lost in confusion, the way I once was.

cool, Gray Rock works on bullies. I hope your daughter can win over them. Keep us posted. I really want to know. Anything you need to get a better grasp, let me know, I’ll try to clarify for you.

post details about the experience. Lots of people here are very good with Gray Rock. We will give you pointers. NC is always the best way, when you can manage it.

g’nite every one. so sleepy. thanks for your wonderful comments to my first article.


Wow! I just read this article about “gray rock”.
It is the ONLY way besides NC to get rid of a socio!
Once you show emotion, they are so happy that they “got to you”.
My xhusb used to torment me verbally and say the lowest of low things until I couldn’t take it and then I went into a crying rage, a fit..even threw things at him to get him away from me!
He won! Then he would try to get me in trouble, make ME look like the crazy one…and even called the police on me three times.

So,the only way to beat them, is to not give them what they want! To make you crazy….is their torture you! Especially if you are pulling away from them…they lose “supply” and get angry. You aren’t responding to them…they can’t control you.

This is what is happening to me right now with my daughter. She has been treating me like garbage for the past year..only being “sweet” when she wants something from me…to use the car…new clothes..etc.

When I finally took “control” which she lost now….she is angry.
She has called me names that were like being stabbed in the back. I will never forget them.

Its one thing to say, “I hate you” …for a teenager…and “your’e stupid”…etc…

But, she did exactly what her socio dad did to me! She attacked the one and only thing I am proud of in my life…that I have been a wonderful, loving mother to three children..and have raised them alone….and they have all turned out happy, smart, and talented.

She called me “unfit mother” and threatened to have my other two “taken away” from me through the courts!

She has called me “bipolar, insane, crazy, mentally ill, and neglectful”.

The SAME things her father claimed!

To take something from me that I am proud of…the only thing in my life that I was able to do alone and struggled to do alone…fulfilling my responsibility as a parent…and tell me that I failed at it …is cruel.

I am still in a state of shock that she has done this. I see my own daughter as an enemy…an evil creature….not the little girl that I loved and adored and went way beyond the normal responsibility of caring for her….

I hope that this awful feeling that I wake up everyday with, goes away soon. It’s like a death, but worst. She is still alive to torture me…lives right in my backyard by a neighbors…and I feel like I am walking on eggshells everyday…waiting for the next phone call or harassment.

If only she knew what she is doing to me and her sisters.

I hope this gloom and doom feeling inside of me goes away.
I want to live the rest of my life with joy and happiness.

It’s almost easier dealing with the death of a child…than the torture of a child who is sociopathic.



Bless you, tobehappy. Oh my, I know some of what you are going through.

What you say about “the one and only thing I am proud of in my life…” rings true for me, as well. I have three kids, too (teens).

I am so sorry you are going through this! You are still a good mom, a devoted mom, a sane mom, even if your daughter and ex-husband are saying something differently.

I hope to God she does not go to CPS.

As I have experience with that (one of my daughters “losing it” to her school counselor one day, and based on this rant, the school counselor reported me to CPS and there was a terrible investigation with mandated therapy with me, the three kids, my ex-husband and his wife!) — I just hope, hope, hope that does not happen to you.

In my case, I know that my daughter (who has a history of mood swings but there is also a wide range of normal in adolescent girls!) had no idea of the consequences of her going to her counselor. I also know that my daughter was going through a whole bunch of things at the time which precipitated her going to the counselor. She was being bullied at school, her love interest turned on her, and was at the center of the bullying, I had recently returned to fulltime work after having been a SAHM or part-time work throughout my kids’ lives (being “devoted” and all, so I thought!), and I had recently begun a new dating relationship which was bothering my children (they do not like their mom dating!). So, it was all of this… that sent my daughter to the counselor… and I was floored that CPS believed that this added up to my being a neglectful parent! My ex-husband’s “testimony” (which I later read in my file) — all lies — quite obviously influenced the State.

Anyway… that is not meant to scare you (though I guess it could and should). But maybe a bit of wariness is advised — these things CAN get out of hand, and I think the State (CPS investigators) do NOT “get” abusive or sociopathic relationships. Maybe some do… but if they don’t, it can cause so much added grief to the family, to the “safe” parent which I am SURE YOU ARE.

Keep telling yourself that you ARE devoted; you are NOT neglectful. There is no such thing as a perfect parent — but I am sure you are doing a very good job of raising your children.

There is also the question of genetic or environmental influence of your ex-husband on your daughter, and I am so sorry about that. It is so heartbreaking, but you are not alone. For me, it does not matter what the combo is (genetic/environment) — but I do believe there is a very real element of this being passed on to our children, and I just want you to know that the jury is not out on this, but my gut tells me that — you can do as much as you can do — and no more than that. Part of how your daughter turns out is her father’s influence, and part of it is her choice.

So please do not blame yourself. No matter what the outcome. You play your part, and ONLY your part. If the outcome is not a great one, that does not mean that you could have done any better, and it does not mean that you are a bad mother or failed in your devotion.

I think it is very, very possible that a person can be a most excellent mother and still end up with a child who causes trouble (to themselves, to their families, to others).

And I hope that is not what happens in your case.

My kids aren’t adults yet, but I watch them and think, sometimes…. hmm, I wonder which traits will end up dominating? I know I’m doing the very best I can with them, and it’s also not totally up to me.

Sorry if this rambles. I just learned in the past year what it feels like to be judged “neglectful” by the State, when I know for a fact that is not true about me. I have had to work very hard to give myself pep talks and keep saying, “that’s not true” and “they are mistaken about me” and “I need to work on forgiving them for the damage they unwittingly did to my family, because they DO NOT UNDERSTAND sociopathy” and I also have said to myself that I am angry that the State will interfere in a safe family because they misconstrue and believe the sociopath’s lies.

My heart really goes out to you. I wish a good outcome for you and your children.


Great article! I use gray rock at work a lot. It works really well : )

Ox Drover


I understand your pain, belive me I do…but you are basing YOUR happiness, YOUR self esteem on all 3 of your kids being “healthy and successful”—that is something over which YOU HAVE NO CONTROL…your kids are free agents.

You have been as good a mother as you knew how to be. You did the best you could. Your intentions were well. You gave your daughter what you thought would make her a happy well adjusted and successful life. It didn’t work. Not your fault. SHE HAS CHOICES.

She has decided to take control and she KNOWS WHAT WORDS TO SAY TO HURT YOU…what buttons to push.


How, by NC for the first thing. NO CONTACT.

However, you have got to get your own shiat together and take care of you.

CONTACT AN ATTORNEY Monday and find out what your RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES ARE. Until you do that YOU are ACTING IRRESPONSIBLY IN MY OPINION. Then do what the attorney advises. Contact the school counselor and advise him/her that the daughter is out of the house. Then contact CPS. I realize you fear them (who wouldn’t) but she WILL contact them, believe me.

I think fcrom what you say her dad is advising her from the back ground and it is his/her way or torturing you.

CUT off the contact, and CONSIDER THE SOURCE… do NOT HAVE TO BELIEVE THE THINGS THEY ARE SAYING OR LET THEM CUT YOU TO THE QUICK. Now take control woman!!! Don’t make me get the skillet out to get your attention!!! ((((hugs)))) and God Bless you.


Tobe: I agree with Oxy. I think children are really their own people. Parents can only foster and nurture what is inside the child to nurture. I would have been glad to have you as a mom instead of the one I had. I’m sorry for the loss of the relationship you had hoped to have with your daughter. The best revenge is to work on your relationships with your more empathic children. As they go through life, perhaps you will all stay close and the sociopathic one will be left out of the fold. Her loss.


’tis better to have loved and lost then to never have loved at all

Ok, too weird, I went to post a comment and the above saying was already in the box. I started to delete it but then I thought maybe it is there for a reason so I decided to post it.


I agree, the “be boring” strategy is a good one. Its really similar to a strategy I read about at a support group for the adult children of borderline pd parents; the strategy is called “Medium Chill”, for use when you find that you have no option but to be in the presence of a known personality-disordered individual (like at a wedding or at a funeral, a business meeting, etc.) Its just a method of emotionally detaching in a polite but neutral way. The idea is to avoid giving them feedback or engaging with them in anything but the most tepid, bland way possible.

In other words, like “Gray Rock”, the idea is to be as boring to the disordered or psychopathic individual as possible, so they’ll leave off trying to engage you (you’re no fun) and go torment someone else. So, big “thumbs up” from me RE “Gray Rock” strategy.


Tobehappy-you seem to have managed to survive your ex’s abuse and dealt with it just fine. I am sure at one point you loved him dearly too. Just remember your one daughter is just like him and deal with her like you do him.

I have a son whose twelve who has taken over where his dad left off. So, if he wants to behave like his father then guess what….grey rock. I have grey rocked he and his father to the point that my heart is as hard as a rock when it comes to them. And talk about nasty, disrespectful, demeaning behavior, I can’t give details right now for fear of trolls but
believe me it’s bad.

Hang in there. One more thing, the book Co-dependent No More helped me, I learned not to try to fix everything by reading it. By learning not to TRY to fix everything I realized I COULDN’T fix everthing. By learning I couldn’t fix everything I learned some people really have some bad problems…..PERIOD.



Wow! Your situation is so parallel to mine! Thank you SO much for sharing it with me. It is just so shocking and amazing that you can be so devoted and loving to a human being, child or no child, and that they can turn on you on a dime!
I saw tendencies in my daughter, early on. But, I thought she had a ‘heart’. She begged me for a dog, and has two small ones..and hugged and kissed them all of the time. I was happy to see this, since I knew her father had “tortured kittens” and hurt animals when he was younger! So, I assured myself,that ..even though she was like her Dad in many ways…that she was smart and clever like him…but had a “heart”…unlike him.

In the past year, she HATED her dogs…kicked them out of her room….cried to “get rid of them” and ignored them. I had to take over and feed them and care for the two little pups she CRIED for!

It was when she got involved with her b/f that the changes started. She hated everyone in our home…her sisters, me, her dogs. Wow! What the he&& happened?

I thought that it was a “phase”. Interestingly enough, when her b/f went away for a month…she started hugging her dogs…coming out of her room to watch tv with us!!!….(her b/f doesn’t believe in tv..ugh!)…and she even sat at the table and ate with us!!!

As soon as he (another socio), came back, she started avoiding us again. She told me that he is a liar, sneaky, doesn’t care for her …doesn’t take her anywhere…and she is a princess and deserves more and ended it with him. Then, the next morning,…he was in her bed with her!!!! In MY home!!!

So, something is wrong with her brain!! And, maybe it came to a head and this is why she has betrayed ME. I don’t know.

Thank you for the advice in protecting myself legally. I have contacted the county prosecuter…(friend of friend) and will be speaking with him on Tuesday.

I advised her in writing, that she is to notify me when leaving the house she is staying at…every single time, or I must contact police as she is deemed “missing”.

She has been emailing me everywhere she goes since.

Honestly, I don’t want he back in my house. And, I don’t care where she goes or what happens to her at this point. (sad, but true). I just want to protect myself legally until she is 18.

People don’t believe me…since she is my ‘daughter’. But, BELIEVE ME>…I had enough abuse in my life from my socio mom and socio husband…and I don’t want her in my life AT ALL

I KNOW she will come back with a crying act…etc. I am sorry to say…I DON’T WANT HER NEAR ME OR MY GIRLS.

Life is sad sometimes and I lost a daughter. One that I gave more to than any human being on this earth..even her two sisters. I didn’t just do the basics. I devoted my time and energy into making her happy…to follow her dreams…(to be an actress)….spent money on her I didn’t have….held her during feedings when young..videoed her every single day for her first 365 days alive! …(maybe they can use this for a case study someday! lol)….and never hit her, called her a bad name…not even raised my voice to her! I just don’t hit or yell…

She tells everyone that “all she does is yell at me”. LIE!!!!
Not that yelling is bad…but I DON”T YELL. I tell her…”Please pick up the dog poop..PLease lock them up at night in the crates I bought…PLEASE come home before 11 with my car….etc.

I should have put my foot up her A$$!!!!!!! Forget yelling!!!!

No, I was a warm, affectionate, loving mother. THAT, none can take away from me.

I overdid it…and she took advantage of me.

I think she is surprised now that I am only looking to protect myself. I have been a GRAY ROCK and shown no emotion..not even in my texts and emails to her. Its ALL business.

I cut the supply and contact. Let her go to FL to her Dad…I would be VERY happy to never see either one of them again.

THank you for understanding and warning me about the damage they can do!! I need a lot of support.




I have not shown any emotion to her. I simply write emails and texts to protect myself legally.
Believe me, she wants me to BEG her to come back and I have kept my contact with her totally BUSINESS. I have learned by now in my life….how to deal with these socios. This situation reminds me of EXACTLY how I felt with the xsocio when he left the home. Only now …I have the EXPERIENCE and know how to deal with her.

I know in my heart and mind how I raised my children and I am not blaming myself ONE bit. Her friends…who come from 2 parent homes LOVED coming here and are amazed at what my daughter has….and how “nice your mom is”. She even said…”My friends all love you and think you are so nice and funny and cool…They don’t KNOW you”! She is making me out to be the monster that SHE is.

I just need to get over the fact that this has happened in my life. If you told me 2 yrs ago that my “honor student” …”gifted pianist”…”straight A HONOR class student” would do this….

I would NOT have believed it!

So, right now I am drained and weary and in shock…just like going through the death of a loved one.

I HOPE I can get back to normal. Working would help, but I haven’t been called in to Substitute teach…which I think is because she ruined my reputation in this small grapevine town.

But, I am going to start in the next town two weeks. Working will help me. I love teaching.

Thank you for your support. Just gotta get over the shock of it all.



Tobehappy-You scared me there, my oldest child is currently who your girl was. Considering who his father is that scares me. On the working comment you made, yep, yep and yep…me too.


A crisis is sometimes an opportunity to discover the cracks in our foundation and fix them. I hope you take this opportunity to go to therapy. Even CPS mandated therapy could be helpful if it forces your daughter to attend.

Use this wake up moment for your family to emerge better and healthier than you’ve ever been.



I wouldn’t waste my time going to therapy with another sociopath!
I’ve been to therapy in my lifetime and I can’t imagine what a therapist could say to help me right now. You and others on here understand sociopathy and have been great support.
Yes, I enabled her and didn’t put my foot down enough and demand respect. I didn’t do it with my other daughters because they weren’t like her. They didn’t threaten suicide if they didn’t get their way!
I’m just weary, worn out, and done and trying to get my physical energy back so that I can live my life again. The last week has been DRAINING.
I just sold her bed and someone is coming to pick it up and I just want to get myself dressed and get out.
There’s nothing more to do…just deal with the sadness that another sociopath was born!


Everyone has said so much, and I agree…this is wonderful counsel. And written so clearly.

And to To Be Happy: I am not clear about everyone’s stories/experiences here. But I just want to say how sorry I am about the terrible difficulties you are having with your girl.

And I am not trying to plant false hope by what I am about to say….

I was raised by multiple personality disordered individuals, one clearly sociopathic and sexually abusive.

In my early years (say 12-mid twenties) I was quite narcissistic, manipulative, hateful, angry, out-of-control, and nearly intolerable. But I wasn’t personality disordered, and I have turned out to be a responsible and caring woman. I have my issues, I can be quite sensitive, and continue to suffer from bouts of insecurity.

What I am saying is that there are reasons why kids act like total assholes, if they have been around and/or mistreated by superbad people. I don’t know how long your daughter was around a bad person. You sound like a lovely person.

I had lovely people around too. But I had LOTS of reactions that I played out as a result of the bad people, and what they perpetrated on me. It took along time for me to work out this terrible behavior. But, I did it. With lots of help. And with No Contact from all of my family, for 13 years.

Your daughter may find herself someday. I hope to God she does, and that she finds peace and is not permanently emotionally disabled.

Peace to you…


Hi all,
Newbie here! I’ve been reading this board for about 1 year & finally decided to post.

love your article & especially this:
Gray Rock is about “protecting our emotions. In fact, it is about boundaries. We don’t have to share our emotions with anyone unless we want to.”

Amen! I’d never heard of “boundaries”, never knew what they were, until about 5 years ago, when I discovered I had surrounded myself with malignant narcissists. Boundaries changed my life & gave me personhood. Exactly: we do NOT have to share our emotions with anyone we do not want to. Another wonderful lesson: “No” is a complete sentence!

Love the Gray Rock! Hide all shininess & light from spaths & Ns & run away if possible.

I have learned so much from this board. Thank you, Donna, & everyone here.



I posted before reading your story. Just want to say I’m so sorry to hear about your troubles & wish you strength and peace.


Claire-Hi, nice to have you here. I also have been reading here for about 3 years. I post for awhile, get scared, stop posting, get unafraid and start posting again.

I also NEVER had boundaries, didn’t know what they were. I had heard the word but it was like a foreign word, I didn’t understand it. Then I went to a pretty good counselor who suggested the book Boundries and was I every surprised to find out I had put up NO fences where I really would like some. I was wreck when I began building my fences and my N sure got a lot nastier, if that is possible.

But now here I am at lovefraud trying to undo in my mind what has been done for 23 years. It’s a lot more work then I thought it ever would be but I reckon I’ll get there.

Over time I have learned to have fun with gray rock. At first I thought for sure my N/P would literally kill me when I first started it but I am still alive so that’s good.


Thank you Clair and Slimone…


She was 6 yrs old when I divorced her socio dad. She was raised with TOO much love. I was overly loving and let her get away with demanding behavior and the only thing I did wrong was to give her a sense of entitlement and taught her that manipulations will work.

She just called me all sweet and said..”Hi”…not Hi Mom.
She said..”Can u give me a ride to work?”

Luckily, my phone died and I was in the car!

So her new “mom” texted me that she was giving her a ride to work.

I am NOT giving her a ride ANYWHERE. After what she has said about me and did….dragging my name thru the mud..made me lose MY job…I refuse to drive her anywhere.

I have to let her know this.

Any suggestions?

Ox Drover

Dear Claire, welcome to LoveFraud, sorry you need to belong to our “club” but since you do, welcome to a great supportive place! If you’ve been reading for a year you probably “know” most of us, so won’t go into great detail about LF…but Feel free to chime in any time! God bless.


To Be Happy,

Well. I do have some gut hunches and opinions. And keep in mind I have not raised any children. And just because I turned out OK, doesn’t mean anyone should have put up with my crap. Those who didn’t gave me some useful lessons, and additional hardship that I had the choice to learn from (and change myself), or die blaming them. My choice.

I would cut her off. Turn off the niceties that are reserved for kids and others who treat you with respect, and reciprocate your love and caring. Treat her with the utmost neutrality. Gray Rock, as Skylar so brilliantly outlined. Provide her the minimum parental support so as to avoid legal action. Tell her you will no longer put up with her abuse and criticism.

I think I understand she is under 18, so that does complicate things a bit. But, again, as much as you can without inviting any legal charges of child abandonment, I would cut her off.

Keep the lines open. But hang up on her at the first signs of manipulation, criticism, lies, blaming…just hang up the phone. Say “I am hanging up now…”

You sound like you are already employing these methods, and I applaud you. She is likely old enough that she will survive off the ‘love’ of others. This is good. She will now have to learn to truly survive and change herself if she desires relationships with other people who have healthy lives.

I hope she seeks therapy, or some other form of support and growth (because this helped me, over many years).



I think that when she calls me to drive her anywhere or a favor I am just going to NOT pick up the phone. She had NO phone for three days to let me know where she was….but, funny how she found a phone to call me on when she needed me!

I am not driving her anywhere…and I won’t say that to her…I am just going to avoid answering the phone if she calls from that number…let her leave a message.

I don’t owe her a thing..she left…and did in a way to damage ME….now I owe her nothing but medical help.

Lovefraud is being upgraded. Comments and forum posts are temporarily disabled. Dismiss

Send this to a friend